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Dream Team: Worcester Warriors and former Ulster hooker Niall Annett

Niall Annett

Another season of Premiership rugby awaits Worcester Warriors hooker Niall Annett after he penned a one-year deal late last month.

The 28-year-old said he was ‘looking forward to seeing what unfolds’ at Sixways. But what of his past?

Here, former Ireland Under-20 team captain Annett chooses a best XV based on those he has played alongside and against.

1 Tom Court

Ex-Ulster teammate capped by Ireland and the Lions. At his best could do a bit of everything, worked his way up and looked after me as a youngster.

2 Rory Best

One of the best leaders on and off the pitch and he’s proved it big time with Ireland. Great scrummager, great at the jackal and an inspirational man.

3 Nick Schonert

The best scrummager I’ve played with and if you run straight at him, you’re in trouble as well. Has improved his game at Worcester in leaps and bounds in recent years.

4 Will Spencer

A freak of a human being who was tremendous for Worcester and could win contacts on both sides of the ball. A great lineout and scrummaging lock.

5 Paul O’Connell

The greatest Irish player to wear the jersey. He’d captain this team. Had everything in his game needed to be one of the world’s very best in that position.

6 Iain Henderson

Played with him from a young age and he has become a world-class player with Ireland. Great carrier and a good lineout option in the back row.

7 Sam Lewis

Simply the best player I have had the privilege of playing with. Tireless, never gives up for us at Worcester and it can only be a matter of time before he is capped by Wales.

Sam Lewis
The best: Sam Lewis is worthy of a Wales call-up in the opinion of Worcester teammate Niall Annett. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

8 Billy Vunipola

Another amazing player who has size, skill, hits hard and can jackal. Huge ball carrier and not someone you want charging at you.

9 Ruan Pienaar

Always looked like he had time on the ball and could do things the rest of us couldn’t even dream of. Ace goal-kicker who won many games for Ulster.

10 Ryan Mills

In his un-preferred No.10 shirt here, but in my team we are slinging the ball about and there’s no better. Has the passing and kicking ability to do it all.

11 Bryce Heem

Give Bryce the ball and the big Kiwi scores a brilliant try, simple as that. Been a huge player for Worcester and it will be sad to see him go.

12 Matt Toomua

Classy ball player I’ve always admired but he’s shown at Leicester he can play on the gain-line, too. Has the kicking game to go with it so is a great all-rounder.

13 Wynand Olivier

At one stage he ran lines that no one else in the world could. Strong and tough and gives you front-foot ball. It’s a shame he’s packing up.

14 Joe Rokocoko

Played against him as a young guy when we faced Bayonne in pre-season  and he was a freak. One of the best to ever play on the wing for New Zealand.

15 Telusa Veainu

A front rower’s nightmare with some of the most disgusting footwork ever. No kicking allowed in this team, we are running everything!

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